I got a very kind and challenging response to the recent article about Living the Abundant Marriage. This is the note that arrived on my guestbook page.
I loved your article "Living the Abundant Marriage". -and I cried because as a couple we could relate to this so much. My husband read it and he liked it but his response was: How? Communication in this area seems blocked for us though we have tried hard to communicate, it appears. What would the answer be...
First of all I have to tell you I related to the husband’s monosyllabic response. How? That’s a typical guy response. Let’s cut to the chase here blog boy. Nice words but how does that work?
My second response was one of bemused amazement. Me giving marital advice feels a little bit like a mule explaining to a thoroughbred how to win the Kentucky Derby. So I have to be honest and tell you I have no pat answer with seven steps and a workbook. I can only tell you what God is teaching me.
One word in your note hit me where I lived for so many years. Tried. I tried so hard for so long. I tried this book and that study and this program. I tried early morning quiet times and forced Bible reading programs. I tried everything that came along. There is nothing wrong with any of the stuff I tried. The problem was it was all me trying to be more godly using the same approach I used at work. Work hard and be creative and God will be impressed. He wasn’t.
When I was tired of trying God brought the TrueFaced seminar into our life and we learned a workable, practical theology of grace and identity in Christ. I don’t mean to put these guys on a pedestal. They may be nearly as dysfunctional as your humble blogger. But God has given these men some insights into the kind of problem that you are describing that is simply astounding. They taught me how to stop trying and how to start allowing God to love me. Joni and I just finished going through the TrueFaced book with two other couples. God used the wisdom of this book to change everyone of us in significant ways.
One husband wrote this to me.
(This study) has drawn out of me a desire, no, an ability, to be myself. Removing many masks, I now feel more whole...more and less vulnerable, but much stronger...thank you!
Good buddy Earl knows me and still took a chance that I might be right on this one. He started going through the study with his group. Here is what he wrote.
Ok, I finally got to watch the first session of the series last night with our life group. Wow!! I thought (John Lynch) was taking us to an intersection of good and bad, then he sucker punches us with the choices and the rewards from entering either room. I've been trying to digest the message all day today (as have the others in our group). Dave, I'm not sure where to start, but it almost feels like I've swallowed the best steak I ever had whole!! There's so much to this message, but right now I think God (through John) is telling me that my agendas in life are getting in the way of absolute happiness and oneness with God.
So I am going to ask you to risk a few bucks and buy the TrueFaced Message DVD and the book. Watch the DVD together. I am guessing you will see yourself in that video. Read the book together and trust God to begin repairing the communication process that has been broken. The book will give you language and tools to jump start your communication. But more importantly it will give you practical theology that works in the real world where you and I live.
To keep this article a little shorter than normal I will link you to a blog I wrote about one part of the TrueFaced message.
I am praying for you. I can tell you this. It won’t be easy. But if you
can grasp and put your full trust in these truths it will be worth it.
Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker. He is the author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People and Bring'em Back Alive: A Healing Plan for those Wounded by the Church. You can reply by linking through daveburchett.com.